The Myth of Work-Life “Balance”

Work-Life balance presupposes an opposition of forces.

Wouldn’t it be better if we were aligning those forces so that work and life were synergistic and working together?

If you find yourself trying to balance your work and your life, go back and start with purpose. Why do you do what you do? If you’re not sure, you’re not connected with that, then start thinking about all the things that you do because you love to do them. What gets you going? What do you do even when you’re not getting paid? What do people tease you about always doing? There is very likely a common thread there when you list out all of these things.

Now if the work that you do is fulfilling and aligns with your purpose but you’re still finding yourself unfulfilled or frustrated, it might be the team that you’re on isn’t the right one. This happened to me. The problem was it was my own company.

I woke up one Monday morning feeling like I didn’t want to go to work. And it hit me pretty hard that if I didn’t feel like I wanted to go to work, what in the world was my staff thinking? That was the moment that I knew I needed to make a significant change in the culture of our organization. The problem was I didn’t know how to do that.

When I reached out and got help what it boiled down to was starting with purpose and values. We had not articulated the organization’s purpose. And we had not defined our values, how we were going to act toward each other, our customers, and our referral sources and partners.

It may seem obvious, unnecessary, or something fluffy to define and articulate your purpose and values. But the thing that I often see missing is the understanding that you already have them.

You started your business for a reason, or you joined the organization where you are for a reason, a reason that goes beyond money. And you have expectations for how all the members of your team will treat each other and behave. This reason, and these expectations need to be written down and shared. Creating that clarity for your team and for yourself will go miles toward creating an intentional culture, one that doesn’t happen by default.

Is your work fulfilling your personal purpose. What about the work each member of your team is doing? What would you be doing if you could fulfill your personal purpose? Are you on the right track and just need to adjust your steering and speed a little? Or do you need to change direction?

Seek alignment between the forces of work and life and many of the “balance” considerations will no longer be relevant. Good luck!


First published on LinkedIn.

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